IT'S OPEN: Ballina skate park has re-opened after works to smooth the surface. Pictured (front, from left) Tony Chavez from Truck Stop Sk8, Ballina Olympic skate contender Jakob Robinson, Luke Marshall from Ballina Shire Council and Gary Mills, the owner of Melbourne-based company SkateCon, with some of his crew in the background.
IT'S OPEN: Ballina skate park has re-opened after works to smooth the surface. Pictured (front, from left) Tony Chavez from Truck Stop Sk8, Ballina Olympic skate contender Jakob Robinson, Luke Marshall from Ballina Shire Council and Gary Mills, the owner of Melbourne-based company SkateCon, with some of his crew in the background. Graham Broadhead

Ballina skate park reopens after a smooth revamp

THE Ballina skate park is reopening this afternoon, with the contractor hired for the major upgrade works to make the surface smoother prioritising the job over another so the park is ready for the annual Fair Go competition.

The skate park has been closed for about two weeks with the team from Melbourne-based SkateCon grinding back the cement surface of the park by hand, repairing cracks and coating the surface with a grafitti-resistant paint.

Tony Chavez, the owner of Truck Stop Sk8 in Ballina and organiser of the Fair Go competition to be held on September 7 to 8, said the end result of the works was "awesome”.

He has been lobbying Ballina Shire Council to upgrade the park's surface for more than four years, saying it had got to the stage where it was "unsafe”.

He said the finished product was "excellent”.

"I've been for a skate on it - it's good,” he said.

"It's a lot safer and smoother.”

And that, he said, will please parents and skaters of all levels.

Gary Mills, from Melbourne, is the owner of SkateCon.

He said when council contacted him to confirm the work was going ahead, he had another job booked in.

"When they told me there was a competition coming up, I put the other job off to do this one,” he said.

While the skate park has had regular maintenance, this was the first major work on the park since the first stage opened in 2001.

Mr Chavez said now this work had been done, he would like to see maintenance every two years or so to keep the park in good condition.

He praised Ballina Shire Council for getting the job done, and leading the way in the region.

He named other parks which now need major work done on them: Suffolk Park, Goonellabah, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby, Nimbin and Lismore.

Meanwhile, the Fair Go skate competition will be held at Ballina skate park on September 7 to 8 and is expected to attract 100 to 120 competitors.

It is one of the biggest skate competitions in Australia.



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